The Uganda Lacrosse Union has named Tyler Steinhardt (Boys' Latin) general manager for the Uganda men’s national team. In the role, Steinhardt will be responsible for selecting, operating and bringing a team to the 2014 World Games in Denver.
A Baltimore-area native who has played lacrosse throughout his life, Steinhardt was the 2011 Ugandan National Lacrosse Coach of the Year. Steinhardt’s chief responsibilities include the selection of the players and coaches, as well as handling all logistics including scheduling and transportation to the United States, where they will spend three months touring, training and playing.
“Tyler immediately connected with the Ugandan athletes,” said Maurice Sserunkuma, secretary general of the Uganda Lacrosse Union. “He had the ability to inspire while at the same time walking humbly with them. He is the right person to lead us to Denver in 2014.”
The Ugandan Lacrosse Union is represented by five club teams, with plans to expand to eight by the end of the year. The top 24 players will be selected from these teams to represent Uganda in the World Games. In addition, a cohort of Ugandan and American coaches will be working together to help coach the players, whose collective goal for the past two years has been to compete at the 2014 World Games.
Lacrosse’s roots in Uganda can be traced back to the sports introduction by Fields of Growth International, a nonprofit organization that has been critical in the development of the sport in the region. Fields of Growth has also been responsible for the creation of The HOPEFUL School, a collaborative project with a local community-based organization, in a nearby village, as well as microeconomic developmental projects in the area to bolster the economy.
Last summer, in conjunction with Fields of Growth, 20 Americans visited Uganda to further develop lacrosse in the area and help the ULU continue to grow through the introduction of a National Championship Tournament known as the King’s Cup. Since that time, the ULU has established three distinct seasons; a traditional spring season with a league championship, a summer developmental training season that culminates in a national tournament and a fall seven on seven season. This fall the ULU will also launch their youth development initiative known as the Kampala Kids Lacrosse Academy (KKLA). This academy will be the ULU’s service initiative to the youth of Uganda. The idea for the KKLA came from the ULU players themselves as their league games began to draw crowds of street children from the neighboring slum communities that were fascinated with learning more about the new game.
Steinhardt is a freshman at American, where he is studying international studies as a member of the prestigious Global Scholars Program. Tyler is known in the lacrosse world for coordinating the Shootout for Soldiers, the 24-hour, record-breaking lacrosse game in support of the Wounded Warrior Project. Steinhardt played lacrosse at Boys’ Latin and currently plays for American's club team while coaching a local youth team.
“I’m both honored and humbled to have been selected to such a role, and am more than excited to become a greater part of the Uganda Lacrosse program," Steinhardt said. "The Ugandan lacrosse team brings a wave ofnew energy to the world of lacrosse, and I can’t wait to unleash that passion, excitement and determination in 2014."